Returning to the Fringe once more following her success on Britain’s Got Talent, Jess Robinson continues to impress with her brilliant celebrity impersonations and stunning vocal range, despite missing the opportunity to be as unguarded as the shows title suggests.
From giant beachballs in an audience game of impression-roulette, to celebrity phone hacks, Robinson keeps it fun and energetic with a series of entertaining gimmicks that reappear throughout the show. Spanning Shakira to Billie Holiday, Britney to Liza Minnelli, and even a bit of Theresa May, her ability to switch personas quickly allows her to cover a vast repertoire of characters without missing a beat, and ultimately gives the audience plenty of opportunities to connect to her performance. The three-piece band behind her works with impeccable polish, adapting quickly to the random elements of the show, and providing both musical and comedic support.
Stepping away from her role as an impressionist, Robinson confesses early on that the title of the show (No Filter) is about being unashamed to say what you really think, and expresses her own mission to be more unapologetically herself. This is echoed by her tributes to women she admires for their ‘no filter’ attitudes, and her choice to sing in her own voice, opening and closing the show as herself. These moments are special for the rare sparks of vulnerability they provide, among what is otherwise a very polished and possibly too tightly rehearsed performance.
However, despite wanting to be more unfiltered, Robinson rarely strays from the safe and fairly impersonal, whether expressing everyday likes and dislikes, or giving uncontroversial opinions on celebrities and politicians. Whilst she isn’t aiming to shock, it is disconcerting that the show is about not caring what people think, when the final product is so determined to please the audience.
Jess Robinson: No Filter, Assembly George Square Gardens, 5-26 Aug (not 13 or 20), 8.30pm